Ending migration right now so we had no idea what we might find today. Our first bird at dawn was a second year Brown Thrasher. They breed here but are still pretty secretive in the area.
Things quickly grew quiet but Christine came down to announce that she had a bird in Net 2. At first she thought it might be a Common Yellowthroat but changed her mind and that it should be given a closer look. Once we did...hmmmm. Turned out to be a new bird for us. Last week we had male Connecticut Warblers and this was our first ever female.
Then we returned to normal by catching local birds. This female Northern Cardinal was a new capture but definitely breeding now. That squint shows how mean she was. "Give me one chance..."
Later we caught a male Northern Cardinal who resides just down the lanes. We later recaptured another that has a territory near the end of the lanes.
Yet another female Connecticut Warbler was captured in Net 17. Wow. Again, it was 10 years ago that we captured this species at Wekiwa Springs and it was at the exact same time of year.
The next check of nets began and Phyllis called that we might like a photo op of a turtle. We thought it was in the river but this girl was up on the net lane. A Florida Cooter (Pseudemys floridans) climbed all the way up on our side to find a nice spot to lay eggs.
We were briefly distracted by calls overhead as a pair of Swallow-tailed Kites sailed high in the sky.
Meanwhile, the Cooter moved directly in our path to Net 4 and began to dig holes to deposit her eggs.
On closer inspection, she actually had three holes working. Later, Phyllis noticed eggs in the holes.
Our photo efforts had to end since we suddenly had some birds in Net 11. A pair of Tufted Titmice. One recaptured adult that we first banded as a young bird last year was the first to be processed. She was still growing in her brood patch and looking all scruffy.
Think birds aren't dinosaurs? Just look at those awesome talons on Titmice!
Next up was the other Tufted Titmouse. A baby who was full of attitude.
Just after being banding it demanded to be released.
Then relented to be photographed for a more respectful pose. We released the pair together by the river. Mom went one way and the chick the other. Mom called for her child and they soon reunited a few feet away before getting back with the flock.
Two weeks to go in Session 8. Will most likely be filled with local breeding birds but you never know...
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, May 22nd.
All nets will be opened by 6:00 A.M.